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The True Cost of Raising a Child - Part 3


By Nat Berman

Part 1 covered Prenatal Care, Delivery, and Medical Care.

Part 2 covered Dental Care, Education and Clothing.

Part 3 - Entertainment, Food and the Grand Total


No matter how tight your budget, parents spend on entertainment for their child. If the average cost to see a film is $8.17, according to Variety.com. If the child gets in for half price age 3-12, you are still looking at 9 years at $4.00 per week, adding up to $1872 and thereafter the adult ticket rounded down to 8 dollars comes to 6 years coming in around $2500. If not the movies, most families go to the min-golf course, bowling alley, or other venue to spend that amount of cash or more. This is only taking the child’s cost into account, at $5,327, while the accompanying parent or parents compound the total cost. This is a very conservative estimate, as many families treat their children to live shows and vacation attractions at a significantly higher price.


USA Today Reported in 2013 that it costs approximately $146 to $289 a week in 2013 to feed a healthy diet to a family of four . Using the higher estimate for 2016, and dividing it by four, a child now costs 73 dollars per week. Times that by 52 weeks for 18 years and it takes about $69,000 to feed a child. This estimate would hold true for children of all ages, as babies require special items like formula and baby food that can exceed one fourth of an average portion of a prepared meal for an older child.

To add up all of these expenses:

  • Prenatal Care: $2,000
  • Delivery: $3000
  • Medical Care: $74,000
  • Dental Care: $10,000
  • Public Education: $40,000
  • Clothing: $22,000
  • Entertainment: $5,400
  • Food: $69,000

Total Estimate: $225,440

Insurance coverage, geographical location, scholarships and eligibility for public assistance all can factor into the cost of raising your child. Many parents are handling this expense by making their own clothing, growing their own food, and opting not to send their child to college, as the money invested in higher education does not guarantee a good job after graduation.

Another USA Today article estimated that in 2012, it cost approximately $217,000 to $500,000 dollars to raise a child to age 18. This figure would basically hold true for 2016, if you balance reduced health care cost premiums with what they were before the passing of the Affordable Care Act, against the rising cost of consumer goods and college tuition.

Read more at SheBudgets.com



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